Shepherding and sheepdogs from the shepherds’ view – presentation illustrated with videointerviews

Czéher György

Shepherding landscape management is a complex phenomenon. The work of a professional shepherd requires complete qualification. Due to varying ecological and political circumstances through centuries, shepherding took various forms in Hungary. Without the help of the adequate sheepdog packs, herdsmen and shepherds could not do their job properly. Since the shepherd selected the dogs by their work, only the more or less good dogs could breed.

Relying on this ’breedless population’, hobby-dog breeders and cynologists in the XX. century had nothing more to do than – by selecting the best looking dogs – create a breed-establishing event, ’giving birth’ to a ’new’ breed and keeping the dogs purebred.

Unlike in the beginning, now good-looking dogs are not necessarily that useful. Sheepdogs are not bred by shepherds anymore. Even if they breed, they are not given enough help and support. There are a lot of misconceptions about this topic. A few of us try to look into former information about sheepdogs and even fewer of us go on the field in order to gather more information hoping that with our help the valuable ancient qualities of sheepdogs could be preserved or restored and that this endangered lifeform could be saved and popularized.

This presentation is a narrated selection of audiovisual recordings of our field inspections.